Obesity can seem straightforward to explain. If a person consumes more calories than they need, they gain weight.1 But the real explanation is not that simple. And it is about more than weight.
Obesity is a complex chronic disease2, and losing weight is not just a question of eating less and moving more.3
In fact, obesity can be influenced by genetics, physiology, environment4, and it could be regarded as a neurobiological disease with a psychological element.3
Obesity is associated with increase risk of other diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer.4
People living with obesity can face stigma and suffer poor mental health, and it can also have an impact on educational attainment and employment opportunities and pass through generations.5
But with the right care, people with obesity can achieve weight loss that really makes a difference to their health.6
Today we know that obesity is a serious chronic disease1.
Together with our partners, we are committed to driving change in how the world sees, prevents and treats obesity. As leaders within the science of obesity, we are working to make obesity a healthcare priority, defeat stigma and support better access to evidence-based care.
Leading science’s response to obesity
Obesity is influenced by many factors both inside and outside of the body. A person could be born with a tendency to put on weight.1 Just as someone is born with a particular eye colour.
There is also the physiological aspect (CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM
In the context of food intake, many gut hormones act on hypothalamic and brainstem centres of appetite control. This provides one means by which the gut may signal energy status to the seat of satiety, the central nervous system (CNS).2
During weight loss, the level of hormones can change in an attempt to regain the lost weight.3 As a result, studies show that approximately a quarter of overweight individuals successfully maintain their lost weight.3
Many aspects of a person's general behaviour, environment and sleep patterns can also cause weight gain.1
Where a person lives and the culture that surrounds them can also influence the risk of developing obesity.4
So, although many people with obesity believe they should be able to manage their weight on their own, it is not that easy.5